Tony’s hands were full with a bookshelf and milk carton as he left a New Mexico Walmart, so he wasn’t in a receipt-showing mood. He denied the security guard’s request to stop and show him the receipt in the pocket, and says he was stalked and physically threatened as a result. He shares his Executive Email Carpet Bomb letter:
I recently broke one of those cheap bookcases y’all sell – I got it some 6 years ago, so I wasn’t worried about it being replaced. I figured I’d just buy another one. So, off to the store just down the road from me in [redacted].
So I find a shelf that looks ok (beggers can’t be choosers at this point in the evening), and take it to the check out. First off — there are only 5 registers open. Each line is 9 people deep. I go up to the customer service counter, check out there. Go to the GM door to leave, holding this 25lbs bookshelf under my arm with a jug of milk in the other hand. Old guy at the door asks for my receipt – I state it’s in my pocket, and ask him to hold the shelf. No deal. Fine, I’ll leave. There is no law or agreement I have with your company to be searched or present a receipt. I understand that at Sam’s Club there is, but I would have agreed to it there.
I walk out. The guy starts yelling at me, and as I turn around, I see him running at me with his arm across his head, like some amateur footballer ready to tackle me. I, being a slightly confrontational person, “Expletive dare” him to hit me like that. He backs off, I continue to my car, rather upset. I put my stuff in, and see him pop around another car and point at me while yelling “THERE HE IS” and two of what I presume is your loss prevention goons come out. They had no badges and didn’t identify themselves, so I can again only presume. I said it’s in my pocket, and they then say I could’ve stolen it. I leave.
I call and ask to speak to a manager and get Chris. He was pleasant enough and to be honest, I was a jerk to him. I get home, cool off, call back and apologize – he was grateful. He then goes to explain that it is policy to make sure electronics not in a bag are not stolen.
How is a 25 lbs bookcase electronics worth running me down and treating me like some perp on cops when apparently the policy is electronics? Should I worry about the eletronic content in a bookcase now? Or should I travel with a lawyer should I ever venture to wal*mart again?
From all my legal understanding, you have no right to even try and detain me, let alone charge at me for leaving your store. What was the point of this?
Tony first wrote us in June, and has never heard back from Walmart corporate. We’re no lawyers, but there are some legal gray areas in forced detaining of suspected shoplifters, particularly those who don’t appear to be concealing anything. We’re surprised Walmart doesn’t respond to complaints about this subject, you know, considering the recent news.